It has been a long drawn out drama of clever manipulation, spanning more than 15 years.
Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy trials have all the plots and sub-plots one finds in the long-running Indian serials.
And it will culminate in the Federal Court tomorrow, where the country’s highest court will seal his fate.
I hope the verdict will not be the outcome of political maneuvers to kill Anwar’s political career.
But the continuing political persecution against him and the involvement of powerful political figures in Anwar’s second sodomy charge cast doubts on whether the apex court will uphold international standards for fair trials.
It also indicates a deeply flawed judicial and criminal process, where the rule of law and justice has taken a whack.
The political dabbling into the judiciary was clearly seen when the dates for the decision by the Court of Appeal was switched to prevent Anwar from contesting the Kajang state seat, which would eventually pave the way for him to become the Selangor Menteri Besar.
But again, this is nothing new.
From the time Anwar was first charged in 1998, we have been fed on a steady diet of his so-called sexual preferences, attested to in court by people close to the ruling elite.
Malaysia became a laughing stock when the courts decided that not being consistent with one’s testimony shows the person is not lying.
Anwar has always argued the charges were trumped up to end his political career.
Nevertheless he went to prison for sexual misconduct.
Fast forward to Anwar’s acquittal and his political comeback, and again he has been charged with sodomy.
Interestingly though Anwar was acquitted before the last general election in May 2013, but quickly found guilty a year later on appeal.
It’s apparent the government has embarked on a systematic campaign of character assassination against Anwar, from alleged sex videos to the recent sodomy charge, from the time he made a political comeback, winning the Permatang Pauh seat with an even bigger majority.
But Anwar has been gaining grounds with the rakyat, a fact that makes Prime Minister Najib Razak and UMNO nervous.
The ruling Barisan Nasional did worse at last year’s polls compared to 2008, even losing popular votes.
They know that, minus the irregularities in the electoral system, the Opposition would have come to power last year.
But locking Anwar away based on orchestrated charges will not stop the momentum for change.
It will only make Najib, UMNO, Barisan Nasional and the judiciary an inviting target for making a mockery out of the country’s justice system, which is already in tatters.
The world is watching. The people are watching. If anyone thinks they can get away, yet again, with continuously persecuting Anwar, it only points to their false conventional wisdom.
Member of Parliament, Klang